Google started selling user data to intelligence agencies

Everyone knows that some companies that have free access to the data of their clients, no, no, they trade in them. For many of them, this is at all the basis of the business, because information about the user's preferences, the places he visits, where he works and with whom he meets, can form the basis of an advertising campaign and help in promoting a particular product. Almost any information that can help in the formation of a virtual portrait is important. As a result, the company may not know either the first or last name of a particular user, but know what interests him and what he is able to buy. But it seems that there was no such thing for the data to be sold to law enforcement agencies.

Google started selling user data to intelligence agencies

Google has stopped merging your data for free, but do not rush to rejoice

Google began to charge money for providing user data at the request of law enforcement agencies, The New York Times learned. It doesn't matter for the company whether the special services have a warrant and what kind of data it will be – personal correspondence, search queries or geolocation data – it is ready to provide everything that is required of it, but only subject to payment. However, each service costs differently, and prices may differ several times depending on the complexity.

How much does the data cost

Google started selling user data to intelligence agencies

Data fees should discourage intelligence agencies, says Google

If Google is asked to provide the data it already has, it will have to pay $ 45 for each package. But to install wiretapping for a specific user will cost $ 60. Most expensive is the maintenance of a search warrant. It allows law enforcement officers to independently come to Google and collect the necessary information about the person they need, regardless of how it is stored. True, this may not be any data, because, for example, end-to-end encrypted backups cannot be retrieved without the user's device in any case.

Google itself does not hide that it requires special services to pay for the provision of user data. The company explains this requirement by the need to compensate for the costs it incurs by cooperating with law enforcement agencies. The fact is that the execution of each request requires the involvement of employees who need to first study the request itself, then either find the data of a specific user, or start collecting them. It takes time, which for a company like Google is costly.

Why Google requires money from intelligence agencies

None of Google's services were originally designed as a data collection tool for law enforcement. Therefore, the extraction of the necessary information requires the involvement of specialists and special manipulations. These processes are not free for the company, and by setting a fee for data provision services, the company, firstly, compensates for the costs that it has to bear, and, secondly, it keeps the special services from making too frequent calls, '' explained a Google lawyer in interview with The New York Times.

At first glance, it might seem that the pricing that Google has set is pretty democratic. After all, what is $ 45 to get the data of a potential criminal and finally solve the crime? But it is important to keep in mind that usually requests for information are not isolated, but cover several accounts at once. For example, in the first half of 2019 alone, Google provided law enforcement agencies with data on a total of 165 thousand users from around the world.

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